2018-19 UEFA Youth League
The club are delighted to announce that, following confirmation from UEFA, we have qualified for the 2018-19 UEFA Youth League.
We will enter via the Domestic Champions Path after winning the Scottish FA’s Elite U17 League in a season where we remained unbeaten.
2018-19 will be the sixth season of the UEFA Youth League. Last season’s competition was won by Barcelona who defeated Chelsea 3-0 in the final at the Colovray Stadium, Nyon.
The young Accies will go into the Domestic Champions Path First Round draw (to be made in August [date TBC] in Switzerland) alongside 31 other teams including Chelsea, Hertha BSC, Montpellier and Olympiakos.
The full make up of the draw will be confirmed after the UEFA Champions League qualifiers have been completed. As it stands, Benfica, Basel, PSV Eindhoven and Red Star Belgrade could also be joining us and those mentioned above in the Domestic Champions Path.
Director of the Youth Academy, George Cairns said: ‘’It’s a fantastic achievement and we’re really proud to be involved in such an illustrious competition. You only have to look at some of the names we’ll be in the hat alongside to realise the magnitude of the achievement.’’
‘’But we have earned the right to be there. The players were magnificent last year; to go through the season unbeaten (W20, D4, L0) is something that will never be repeated again.’’
Cairns added: ’’Credit must go to the players, to Dougie (Imrie), Darian (MacKinnon) and to the rest of the coaching staff. However, it’s a reward for everyone at the club from top to bottom. Most of the players have come right the way through our system and have worked with many coaches and staff along the way.’’
‘’The Youth Academy is at the heart of this club and the chairman and the directors provide backing which is second to none. We’ve seen the rewards over the years with the amount of Academy players who have graduated into the first team and contributed to giving the club Premiership status at senior level – but we’ll always keep striving to do better.’’
‘’It’s now a chance for the club and the players to test themselves against the best in Europe. It’s an exciting time for the club and we’re looking forward to seeing who we are paired with in the draw in August.’’
The competition is for players born on or after 1st January 2000. However, up to 3 players born between 1st January 1999 and 31st December 1999 can also be included in the matchday squad providing they meet UEFA’s Player List criteria.
First round ties in the Domestic Champions Path will be two-legged and played in October (dates TBC).